The No. 11 TCU baseball team will take on the No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies for the 250th time tonight at Olsen Field in College Station.
College Station is the Frogs’ third stop on their current five-game road trip. After conceding the first of a two-game home-and-away season series with Oklahoma in Norman 13-6 last Tuesday, the Frogs swept San Diego State in a three-game series over the weekend. The Frogs are now 3-1 on the road trip and are 10-2 in their last 12 games.
TCU junior left fielder Jason Coats was named the Mountain West Conference Co-Player of the Week for his performance in the team’s four games last week.
After struggling earlier in the season, Coats has pushed his season batting average to .310, and he is on a 16-game hitting streak.
The Frogs’ offense is still led by the consistent play of junior right fielder Brance Rivera, who is batting an impressive .372 for the season. Rivera also leads the team with seven home runs. Rivera’s streak of 54 consecutive games started came to an end over the weekend.
Rivera and the TCU offense will be put to the test against a tough Aggie pitching staff. The Aggies have a 2.25 team ERA on the season, which ranks in the top 10 in the country.
Texas A&M’s staff is anchored by a dominant three-man starting rotation of John Stilson (3-1, 1.28 ERA), Michael Wacha (4-2, 1.81 ERA) and Ross Stripling (7-2, 2.62 ERA).
All three pitched in the Aggies’ weekend series with Baylor. A&M won two of those three games and is 4-5 in its last nine games. The recent struggles for A&M come after a nine-game win streak between March 19 and April 2. The probable starters in tonight’s game, though, are TCU freshman Andrew Mitchell (2-0, 1.24 ERA) and A&M sophomore Brandon Parrent (1-3, 3.55 ERA).
The A&M offense is led by lead-off hitter and sophomore starting right fielder Tyler Naquin, who boasts a .383 batting average on the year. Naquin has started all 36 games.
Naquin is part of a top four in A&M’s order that has driven in a combined 86 runs on the season. The first four hitters in the Aggie order likely will be Naquin (.383, 20 RBI) leading off, followed by freshman Krey Bratsen (.333, 14 RBI, 16 stolen bases) and juniors Jacob House (.306, 28 RBI) and Matt Jeungel (.274, 24 RBI).
The Aggies are the fourth ranked opponent the Frogs have played in the 2011 campaign. TCU has faced Cal State Fullerton and Oklahoma, which are No. 8 and No. 17, respectively, in the current Baseball America Top 25 Rankings. The Frogs also faced then-No. 16 Baylor on Feb. 22. Baylor has since fallen out of Baseball America’s Top 25. The Frogs are 2-3 in their five games against ranked opponents.
-In 250 games played, Texas A&M has beaten TCU, 159-86-4.
-The Frogs have not won a game in College Station since April 30, 1994, which was a 6-3 TCU win.
-The Aggies are 3-1 against the Frogs in the last three seasons, with the lone TCU win coming in a 6-1 victory last season in Fort Worth.
No. 11 TCU at No. 6 Texas A&M
Probable starters: Andrew Mitchell (2-0, 1.24 ERA) vs. Brandon Parrent (1-3, 3.55 ERA)
When: 6:35 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Olsen Field, College Station
Radio: KTCU FM-88.7
Listen live or follow GameTracker on gofrogs.com.